Blue Earth Priest Sentenced in Sexual Conduct Case
By Ashley Hanley
March 31, 2014
A Blue Earth priest has been sentenced after pleading guilty to criminal sexual conduct with an 11 year old girl.
In a packed courtroom in the Faribault County Courthouse, Father Leo Charles Koppala, formerly of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth, was sentenced to a 36–month probationary period with credit for time served after entering a guilty plea for second–degree criminal sexual conduct with an 11–year–old female.
Faribault County Attorney Troy Timmerman says, "Basically that means that given his criminal history and the severity of the offense, he will be placed on probation with a prison sentence hanging over his head so if he violates his probationary terms then the prison sentence could be imposed."
Some of those conditions include registering as a predatory offender and not having contact with females under the age of 18, among others.
Timmerman says, "We spoke with the family prior to entering the plea agreement and at various steps of the way in this process and they were very comfortable with this resolution."
According to the criminal complaint, Koppala was invited to the girl's grandmother's home for dinner last summer.
At one point, the complaint states, the girl and Koppala were alone downstairs watching TV when Koppala grabbed the girl and began to kiss her and touch her breasts.
Koppala has already served 31 days in the Faribault County Jail and will be under supervision by the Department of Corrections, however on the federal level, he could face deportation to his native country of India.
Timmerman says, "Obviously the question we don't know the answer to is to exactly what will happen to him in terms of his immigration and what sort of consequences the federal government will impose."
Koppala can appeal the decision. His attorney was unavailable for comment.